Laminate flooring is a welcome friend to any home improvement project. It is flexible, affordable, and so plentiful that it is the default choice for many contractors. You can find the stuff in a bewildering variety of styles and colors, each one subtly different in color and grain to match the particular needs of one project or the other.
Laminate flooring may be easily shaped and applied, but keep in mind that it’s meant to be tough enough to last through years of wear. Tearing it to shape with bare hands or ordinary shears is ineffective and likely impossible. You’ll need special tools to get it ready for installation, and having the wrong ones will leave you with a ragged or chipped edge that you will more likely need to discard and redo than realistically fix.
Although there exist specialized shears or cutters for cutting flooring properly, these tools are more useful for those selling the flooring than installing it; on a worksite, the need to minimize clutter and expense will drive the workers to select the most versatile tool as opposed to the precise one made for the task. When it comes to cutting things, this definition almost invariably leads to buying a saw.
Saws take advantage of the principle of serration to cut through thicker or tougher material than a straight edge by scraping the surface perpendicular to the plane of the surface to be cut as opposed to pushing straight through it using leverage behind a sharpened edge. The serrations last longer as well, as each tooth has proportionally less contact with another surface. A straight blade has the same edge in contact with every item to be cut, making it dull much faster.
With few exceptions, getting a saw today means getting a power saw. By using a motor instead of the mechanical energy of the human arm, the saw blade can make many thousands of passes more than a human operator, slicing through even the hardest materials in mere seconds as opposed to the hours of work that it would take a manual operator.
The added sawing cycles may give an incredible cutting advantage, but they are not without their drawbacks. Power saw blades wear out well before their manual counterparts and are often sold in packs of three or four to account for it. Changing a blade is a standard operation for any power saw user, and may well be done several times before a job is completed.
Naturally, this leads to the unenviable task of trying to choose a saw blade for laminate flooring from among the many options available. Unlike lumber or stone, flooring needs to be cut with an extremely fine blade that will leave a smooth, fluid cut. It is an external component of the building and so must be visually attractive as well as physically sound.
That might sound like a tall order, but there are many manufacturers that have risen to the challenge. We’ve put together the ten best saw blades for cutting laminate flooring to help you properly finish your project.
|1. Freud D1084L
|2. SKIL 75540
|3. Overpeak Ultra-Fine
|4. DeWALT (DW3128P5 12” Combo Pack)
|5. IRWIN 11870
|7. Oshlun SBNF-120120
|8. Boss Hog
|9. Norske Tools NCSBP216
Our Best Saw Blade for Cutting Laminate Flooring Reviews and Comparisons
1. Freud D1084L
This distinctive red blade is made with a high tooth count and narrow profile to fit all saw slots or bearings.
- 10” in diameter
- Triple chip design
- ⅝” arbor
- Made of carbide steel
What We Like About Freud D1084L
This blade is made thin with an anti-friction coating that lowers heat buildup and makes the saw resist warping or heat expansion.
What We Don’t Like About Freud D1084L
Teeth can come loose once the coating is worn out, making the saw’s effectiveness drop rapidly and possibly rendering it dangerous to use.
- Lifetime guarantee
- Anti-friction coating
- Triple chip gives added cutting power
- Stabilizer vents to reduce emissions of heat, vibration, and noise
- Laser-cut balance and sharpness
- Effectiveness drops drastically if coating wears out
- Relatively low tooth count
2. SKIL 75540
This saw blade stays small enough for hand tools as well as table or miter saws while still splitting laminate flooring quickly and easily.
- 40 tooth count
- Max rpm 12000
- 4 ½” blade
- Manufactured of carbide steel
What We Like About SKIL 75540
This blade has won the prestigious Amazon’s Choice award for being the leading saw blade for its category of cutting.
What We Don’t Like About SKIL 75540
This blade is smaller and has a relatively low tooth count, making it less useful for those looking to equip larger saws or hoping for a smoother cut.
- Specially strengthened teeth
- Multiple vents
- Fits smaller tools
- Thicker, more durable steel center
- Specifically made for slicing flooring materials
- Low tooth count creates a ragged cut
- Not suitable for large-disc tools
3. Overpeak Ultra-Fine
This saw blade is built versatile enough to handle not only flooring but any cutting job as well, whether using a table, miter, or circle saw.
- 10” diameter blade
- Six laser-cut expansion vents
- 90 tooth count
- Maximum rpm 6000 Cycles
What We Like About Overpeak Ultra-Fine
This saw is designed with a high enough tooth count and maximum speed to be suitable for any cutting job including rip, crosscut, and cutting poly wood or laminate.
What We Don’t Like About Overpeak Ultra-Fine
This blade wears out relatively quickly and is not suitable for splintery substances such as bamboo.
- Good value-for-money
- Fits multiple tools
- Can handle general-purpose tasks as well as flooring
- Extra expansion vents
- Fine-grain cutting
- Blade wears out quickly
- Does not handle solid natural woods well
4. DeWALT (DW3128P5 12” Combo Pack)
No discussion of power tools is complete without mentioning DeWalt, and the field of laminate flooring saws is no exception. This pack of 2 saw blades will provide a reliable answer to any cutting job you come across.
- Two blades for different tasks
- Tungsten carbide alloy
- 12” blade diameter
- Flooring blade has 80 teeth
What We Like About DeWALT (DW3128P5 12” Combo Pack)
You can buy with confidence when you choose DeWalt. Professionals the world over have recognized this brand as one of the leading producers of construction tools and materials.
What We Don’t Like About DeWALT (DW3128P5 12” Combo Pack)
DeWalt tends to be relatively pricey and you may want to select a cheaper model especially if you do not need the 32 teeth general-purpose blade that is included with the finer blade in this package.
- Trusted manufacturer
- 2 pack of blades for better specialization
- Larger-diameter blades for bigger tools or table saws
- Tungsten construction lasts longer than other metals
- Specialized tooth shape for finer cutting and smoother edges
- Relatively expensive
- Not suitable for smaller tools
5. IRWIN 11870
This blade is thickened for durability and has an extra-fine tooth count to make smooth edges through delicate flooring material.
- 10” blade diameter
- 180 tooth count
- ⅝” Arbor
- A maximum rotation speed of 5900 RPM
What We Like About IRWIN 11870
This saw blade’s teeth are made smaller and finer to produce a more even cut through laminate or plywood flooring material.
What We Don’t Like About IRWIN 11870
The smaller and finer teeth on this saw wear down quicker than a coarser blade and are not suitable for multi-purpose applications.
- Exceptionally high tooth count
- Can slice metal at higher speeds
- Thicker blade resists cracking
- Smaller teeth for minor cuts
- Minimal chipping
- Small teeth wear down quicker
- Not suitable for tougher materials
This blade provides industrial quality performance when cutting either general-purpose or fine cuts, making it ideal for the contractor looking to save space in a toolbox.
- 80 tooth count
- 12” blade diameter
- 1” arbor
- 2 ½ millimeter kerf
What We Like About TWIN-TOWN
With a good tooth count of 80 and construction grade tungsten teeth, this saw can handle industrial level usage with ease.
What We Don’t Like About TWIN-TOWN
This saw does little to dampen emissions, weather vibration, or noise making it uncomfortable for users to operate without additional equipment.
- Tungsten carbide alloy for added resilience
- Good general-purpose blade
- Little tearing on plywood or laminate
- High accuracy cuts
- Thin kerf for minimal waste
- Saw has no vents to reduce noise or vibration
- Teeth can wear down quickly
7. Oshlun SBNF-120120
This blade’s high tooth count is designed to smoothly cut fine materials and is sharp enough to cut through metal-reinforced flooring as well.
- 120 tooth count
- 12” blade diameter
- Triple chip teeth
- Tungsten carbide construction with copper plugs in expansion vents
What We Like About Oshlun SBNF-120120
This blade has won the Amazon’s Choice Award for its ability to smoothly cut through metals and flooring with little to no bur and quality heat dispersion.
What We Don’t Like About Oshlun SBNF-120120
This saw tends to accumulate material between the teeth, necessitating frequent stops to clean the blade.
- Finely ground teeth
- High-tech expansion vents prevent damage to Blade
- Optimized for metal cutting
- Minimal waste while cutting
- Suitable for cutting thicker or heavier materials
- Debris can accumulate between teeth
- Not recommended for thin metal or lightweight wood
8. Boss Hog
This blade is made for heavy work and features two rows of teeth and an abrasive edge for that much more cutting power.
- 4.5” blade diameter
- Abrasive diamond edge
- Heat-treated steel core
- Maximum safe speed 1300 RPM
What We Like About Boss Hog
This product includes a 100% lifetime warranty that guarantees the blade will not break during use and will be replaced if it does, including return shipping for the replacement.
What We Don’t Like About Boss Hog
Some kinds of flooring are not suitable for cutting with a diamond blade and many tools will not hold a blade of this diameter.
- Diamond cutting surface for the best possible resilience
- An abrasive edge between toothed surfaces for added cutting action
- Exceptional warranty
- Suitable for wet or dry cutting of nearly anything
- Heat-treated core disperses heat and resists friction
- Smaller than most saws
- Creates very rough edges
9. Norske Tools NCSBP216
This blade’s teeth are specifically shaped with no hook to prevent debris from accumulating on the blade while in use.
- 10” blade diameter
- Triple chip grind
- Carbide steel blade
- 72 tooth count
What We Like About Norske Tools NCSBP216
With zero hook angle, the teeth on this blade are particularly resistant to chipping, breaking, or warping, and have minimal chance of material buildup while cutting.
What We Don’t Like About Norske Tools NCSBP216
The cutting edges on this blade dull quickly and the packaging is misleading.
- Self-cleaning blade
- Resists chipping
- Can cut metal at need
- Multiple expansion vents
- Cuts quicker than similar blades
- Jagged cutting
- Loses sharpness quickly
This saw uses an ultra-fine edge and laser honing to produce the clean, smooth cuts you want to see when working with laminate.
- 12” blade diameter
- 1” arbor
- 100 tooth count
- Titanium carbide alloy
What We Like About HICO
This blade is laser-measured to a higher degree of accuracy than the competition, giving a smoother and more reliable cut than can be achieved with other blades.
What We Don’t Like About HICO
This blade’s finer teeth are more fragile than similarly sized blades, and will break more easily on material that other saws can handle with ease.
- High accuracy
- High tooth count
- Laser honed blade
- Titanium alloy blade resists warping or cracking
- Suitable for delicate materials like PVC and fiberglass
- The blade can wobble when in use
- Fragile teeth come off easily
The right saw blade makes any construction or demolition job measurably easier, whether by ensuring you need to switch or maintain blades less often or simply by shearing through the material to be cut in the most efficient way possible. Picking one of these saw blades for laminate flooring will ensure that you are using the right tool for the job and getting your work done quickly, cleanly and with minimal wasted effort.
Keep in mind that having the right blades is only part of the struggle; you will need a good saw body as well to bring your job to peak efficiency. It is often beneficial to compare saw bodies and blades separately, as they are relatively interchangeable and it may take time to find the correct combination for your task.
The first thing you want to know when looking for a new saw blade is what diameter blade is needed; getting the wrong diameter blade for your saw makes both pieces unusable and amounts to nothing more than a waste of time and money. Blades come in several different measurements; make sure that your saw and blade are both measured in the same increments, or execute an accurate conversion, before actually buying a blade.
Laminate flooring is a relatively delicate material so buying a saw blade to cut it involves looking for different suitable attributes than most saw blades possess. To begin with, you will be looking for a blade that is thinner with a higher tooth count; higher tooth counts make a blade stay sharp longer and create a smoother cut.
Additionally, the teeth themselves should be quite fine. Finer teeth take off less material when cutting through something and do not leave the ragged edges or torn material that can make laminate flooring hard to install. Keep in mind that fine-tooth saws will wear down quicker than most general-purpose blades, so be prepared to buy replacements on a relatively frequent basis.
It is vitally important to check the maximum safe speed on any given blade before attaching it to your saw. The metal of saw blades can only take so much wear before coming apart. As the saw spins the blade, the blade is subjected to the centrifugal force pushing it outwards towards the edge of the blade. As the blade spins faster its own weight causes the centrifugal force to increase. At a certain point the accumulated force of the blade will overcome the tensile strength of the metal and the blade will split as it spins on the saw.
This almost invariably means the blade will need to be junked and can be potentially deadly for the operator or anyone nearby as the split pieces of the blade, freed of the axle restraining them, will be propelled outwards from the axle with all the accrued centrifugal force that caused the split. Thus creating flying sharpen pieces of metal more than capable of causing serious injury or death.
To avoid this, check your saw’s maximum speed and buy a blade that has a similar or higher maximum safe RPM. Most blades note this feature clearly on the surface of the blade or packaging. If buying online it is worth checking if the RPM is listed and contacting the seller if it is not.
Laminate flooring is a relatively thin and soft material, which makes it easier to cut than hardwoods or metal sheeting. Saw blades for cutting laminate flooring will generally not need a high RPM, instead focus on high tooth count and having finer teeth to make sure that your flooring will fit smoothly together along evenly cut edges.
If your chosen laminate is reinforced with a metal slat between the wood patterns, common with many flooring brands, you will need to alter your choice of a saw blade to one rated for cutting metal. Metal cutting saw blades require relatively large and sharp teeth, or a diamond edge, to be truly effective. To compensate for this use one with a high RPM to make smaller cuts instead of large rough ones that will not yield the desired smooth edges in your flooring.
Whatever blade you are choosing always be sure to take proper safety precautions while it is in operation. Although these blades are designed to go through the flooring, they will just as easily slice flesh and bone if the operator is not careful. Make sure to install the blade securely and according to directions, and rev the saw a few times to ensure that the bolts hold the blade firmly in place.
If you are using a table saw to cut laminate flooring, you will need to take off your work gloves. While these are ordinarily used and even required equipment on a job site, having work gloves on while using a table saw creates a skewed sense of touch and can make it difficult to judge where your fingers are. These factors can result in a deadly mistake while pushing flooring into a table saw.
No matter what kind of saw you are using make certain to equip yourself with eye and ear protection before you begin cutting. Saws involve using an unmuffled motor and the blade itself can emit high-frequency noises that can damage hearing over relatively short periods of exposure.
As previously mentioned there are several reasons why pieces of the saw may suddenly detach and take flight through your workshop. In addition to a saw cracking under excess speed, saw teeth can be broken in the course of cutting and, by the same principle, be propelled away from the blade. Proper eye protection is indispensable to keep yourself safe from these unpredictable and inevitable occurrences.